How Should One Choose Between Natural And Synthetic Skincare Products?

How Should One Choose Between Natural And Synthetic Skincare Products?
Serums demand a more personalised approach. (Photo: Freepik)

"It is ultimately a journey of trial, error, and discovery, leading you to a routine that resonates with your skin type," said Hemangi Dhir, founder and CEO of Botnal.

Written by Prerna Mittra |Updated : November 24, 2023 11:01 AM IST

Skincare enthusiasts will know the struggle of picking the right kind of product for their skin. Since each skin type is different with issues of their own, what may work for your skin may not work for another person. As such, the choice of products have also become individualistic. The debate between natural and synthetic products has remained a pivotal consideration in the ever-evolving world of skincare. "Natural skincare products are those formulated with ingredients sourced directly from nature -- flowers, fruits, and plants. Synthetic products are crafted from ingredients that have been molecularly replicated or created in a lab setting," explained Hemangi Dhir, founder and CEO of Botnal, a plant-based, biocompatible and sustainable skincare brand.

According to Dhir, when choosing the right skincare regime, understanding your skin type is crucial. "For those with normal skin, natural ingredients often provide a harmonious balance, nurturing the skin with the gentle touch of nature. A more nuanced approach is advised if your skin narrative includes chapters on sensitivity and conditions like rosacea or eczema. Here, a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients can offer a tailored solution, balancing natural elements' gentle nourishment with synthetic compounds' targeted efficacy," she told this outlet.

Breaking it down

The expert said when it comes to cleansers, natural options have shown remarkable compatibility with various skin types, including those prone to acne or breakouts. "Their gentle formulation cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils, making them an excellent choice for daily use."

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Serums, she said, demand a more personalised approach. "Assess your skin's sensitivity and specific concerns. For persistent acne, a serum infused with a synthetic blend -- especially one that includes soothing acids -- might offer better results. Conversely, if you're combating fine lines and are sensitive to Retinol, consider bakuchiol, a naturally occurring alternative with similar benefits, but with a gentler profile."

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When it comes to the moisturiser, personal preference plays a significant role, particularly when it comes to fragrance, said Dhir. "Some find the natural scents of botanical ingredients pleasing, while others prefer the unscented or subtly-fragranced synthetic varieties," she added.

Interestingly, sunscreen, a non-negotiable in skincare, presents another juncture for decision. A mineral-based sunscreen -- typically natural -- is often recommended over chemical options, especially for those with sensitive skin or who are environmentally conscious, the expert explained.

"Choosing natural and synthetic skin care is less about drawing a line in the sand and more about understanding and responding to your unique skin needs. Whether you gravitate towards the untouched purity of natural ingredients or the precision of synthetics, or find your sweet spot somewhere in between, the key is to listen to your skin," Dhir stated, adding that it is ultimately a journey of "trial, error, and discovery", leading you to a routine that resonates with your skin type and your personal ethos and lifestyle choices.